FRISCO, Texas – Just about the only dark lining from Dallas’ stoppage-time win over Vancouver last Saturday was center back George John being forced off with an ankle injury in the 74th minute.
Schellas Hyndman and FCD likely feared the worst when a cross hit John on the foot just as his stride was hitting the ground, forcing all the weight of the 6-foot-3, 200-pound defender onto his ankle.
John was down for a significant amount of time, ironically leading to the six minutes of stoppage time that was key in the win, and left the field on a cart. On Wednesday morning after training, Hyndman addressed John’s injury with the worst fears being allayed.
“The reports came back that it’s not broken,” Hyndman said. “It’s come back completely as a sprain, but we’ll just have to keep our eye on it.”
Dealing with injuries to center backs is nothing new for FC Dallas this season, with John having missed eight games through injury and center back partner Ugo Ihemelu absent since May 6 as he deals with concussion symptoms.
The difference between this injury and ones earlier in the season, however, is the light FC Dallas schedule over the next month of the season. Dallas have two weeks to recover before playing at San Jose on Sept. 29, while they play just two games between now and their Oct. 21 matchup with Seattle.
“I’m glad we’re having this week off to keep him away from having to force himself out there for training or trying to be a part of it,” Hyndman continued. “Right now it’s really putting us right back into the number of players we’ve had out injured [earlier this season]."
Should John, who was in a walking boot and on crutches Wednesday morning, not be able to go next Saturday, FC Dallas will likely move Colombian Hernán Pertúz centrally to pair with Matt Hedges, leaving FCD without a true backup center back.